venetian school

The Archangel Michael Overthrowing Lucifer
Francesco Maffei (Italian; ca. 1605–1660)
ca. 1656
Oil on stone
© Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain | on deposit with the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

Rinaldo’s Conquest of the Enchanted Forest
Francesco Maffei (Italian; ca. 1605–1660)
ca. 1650–55
Oil on copper
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California

Capriccio with Roman Ruins and Figures
Francesco Guardi (Italian; 1712–1793)
ca. 1760–70
Oil on canvas
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Large (Wikimedia)

I don’t often have to specify, since the 19th century isn’t exactly known for workshop-produced paintings, but in this case I do: Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence, from around 1565, was painted by Titian and his workshop.

The painting seems to be fairly consistently interpreted as representing time —the three men of different ages along the top—and prudence—the dog, wolf, and lion below. Titian’s specific intent, though, is up for debate.

We are helped along only slightly by the inscription at the top, which can be approximated as meaning, “based on the past, the present acts prudently to avoid future mishaps.”

Large (Wikimedia)

Because the spice of life is often attributed to variety, I thought I ought to try writing about something that isn’t nineteenth century and British for once.

So here we have Vincenzo Catena’s Saint Jerome in his Study, from the early 16th century.

It’s a fairly traditional subject for a fairly traditional artist—Catena could hardly be described as an innovator, lovely as his paintings may be.

His depiction of the study, though, has a sort of quiet tidiness to it that is both unusual and—as the National Gallery points out—"wholly appropriate for this Father of the Church, who had abandoned the hubbub of Rome (perhaps alluded to by the city in the left background) for the desert in order to pray and meditate, accompanied only by his devoted lion, which sleeps so calmly that a partridge is happy to stand beside it.“